New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925. Item #04727
An Exceptionally Fine “Knave of Hearts”
"The illustrations were the highest quality reproductions that could be printed”
[PARRISH, Maxfield, illustrator]. SAUNDERS, Louise. The Knave of Hearts. With Pictures by Maxfield Parrish. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
First edition. Large quarto (13 3/4 x 11 7/16 inches; 350 x 291 mm.). , 46, , [3, blank] pp. Color frontispiece (included in pagination), with tissue guard, and color illustrations throughout.
Original black cloth with color pictorial label on front cover. Color pictorial endpapers. This is an exceptionally fine copy, with absolutely no fading to the cloth. Complete with the original (very worn) glassine wrapper and the original tan cardboard box printed in red on the top. Edges of box top expertly repaired.
Interestingly whilst the book has the usual imprint of Charles Scribner's Sons, the box lid has the imprint of A.L. Burt Company. We can find no reference whatsoever to an A.L. Burt publication of this title - the box is a complete mystery…
By far the best copy of this book that we have ever seen.
“Not until 1920 did [Parrish] agree to illustrate what was to become one of the most valuable children’s books ever published, Louise Saunders’s Knave of Hearts. Saunders was the wife of Maxwell Perkins, the editor of Scribner’s. They summered in Cornish, New Hampshire, and were friends with the Parrishes. In a letter to J.H. Chapin of Scribner’s, Parrish wrote on October 24, 1920: ‘The reason I wanted to illustrate the Knave of Hearts was on account of the bully opportunity it gives for a very good time making the pictures. Imagination could run riot, not bound down by the period, just good fun and all sorts of things. You must understand all this layout to be in gorgeous color. The landscapes back of the figures in the cover lining—a very beautiful affair illuminated by a golden late afternoon sun: castles, waterfall, rocks and mountains.’ Parrish relished working three years on the twenty-six paintings for Knave of Hearts. He built an elaborate castle model in his fully equipped workroom to use in the illustrations for the book…Many of the fixtures in the illustrations show handcrafted items from the Parrish household, such as elaborate hinges and a wonderful clocklike affair…that Parrish had built to let him know when the main house ran out of well water…Knave of Hearts, published in October 1925, was printed in rich colors on heavy coated paper. The illustrations were the highest quality reproductions that could be printed” (Alma Gilbert, Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks, pp. 49-52).